This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.
The Ash to Kings Canyon Trail is precedent setting project for Nevada and the Recreational Trails Program.
This trail is a non-motorized multi-use 7.5 mile trail. Mr. Jeff Potter, Muscle Powered trail coordinator, had a vision of a trail that would traverse the sierra front above the state capitol, Carson City, NV.He personally led the project from his first vision of the incredible beautiful scenic opportunity, through multiple agencies, multiple land owners, multiple user types, design, and construction. Jeff Potter developed these partnerships and is solely responsible for the incredibly positive partnerships that have resulted.
The partners include Muscle Powered (Citizens for a Walkable and Bikeable Carson City), Carson Ranger District of the USFS, Carson City Open Space and Parks and Recreation, Nevada State Parks and the Recreational Trails Program, the Great Basin Institute and Nevada Conservation Corps, Church groups, multiple businesses from the area and their employee volunteers, multiple professionals who donated their time for the engineering work.
The mission of Muscle Powered is “to undertake projects that encourage biking and walking through education and engineering solutions for a bikeable and walkable community”. This citizens group made a commitment to the City, to put the Ash to Kings Canyon Trail on the ground. Under Jeff’s leadership this trail was constructed starting summer of 2013 and is finishing up as I write this nomination and is already open to the public! This is not the only project under their belts. They have partners with the City of many projects that are in the actual pathways master plan! This group has also agreed to the long term maintenance of this trail.
Jeff Potter has been instrumental in gathering over 1000 volunteers to work on this trail ranging from children to centurions! Not only construction of the trail, but educating them in planning, layout, design, sustainable techniques, team work, stewardship and maintenance! He knows the children are our future trail crews! This trail provides access to Carson City’s back-country which few families get to experience due to very steep grades and lack of access. Jeff designed the trail to be no steeper than 6%. His design goals were to allow for a winding trail that families, mountain bikes, horses, and even wheelchairs designed for backcountry travel could enjoy.
Peter Axelson, of Beneficial Designs and a committee member of the RTP committee went into the field with Jeff to test it! As the Recreational Trails manager here in Nevada for over 12 years, I can attest to the extremely high quality of this trails design and construction, it’s the best looking trail work I’ve seen in Nevada.
Jeff personally leads work days every weekend and through the week. His commitment and positive attitude is unbreakable. He is already lining up the next projects! It is with great excitement therefore, that I nominate Jeff Potter for the trail workers award. I don’t think I will ever meet another volunteer who has dedicated this level of time, skill and energy, to see an entire city watershed become accessible to the public.